Main Street in downtown Anoka, July 2009
"Halloween Capital of the World"
Location of the city of Anoka
within Anoka County, Minnesota
|Incorporated||March 2, 1878|
|• Mayor||Phil Rice|
|• Total||7.17 sq mi (18.57 km2)|
|• Land||6.66 sq mi (17.25 km2)|
|• Water||0.51 sq mi (1.32 km2) 7.07%|
|Elevation||879 ft (268 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,634.59/sq mi (1,017.24/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (Central)|
|GNIS feature ID||0639396|
|Website||City of Anoka|
Anoka (// ə-NOH-kə) is a city in and the county seat of Anoka County, Minnesota, United States. Its population was 17,142 at the 2010 census. Anoka is the "Halloween Capital of the World" because it hosted one of the first Halloween parades in 1920. It continues to celebrate the holiday each year with several parades. Anoka is a northern suburb of the Twin Cities. U.S. Highways 10 / 169 and State Highway 47 are three of Anoka's main routes, and it has a station on the Northstar Commuter Rail line to Minneapolis.
Colonizers first settled the site that is now Anoka in 1844. By the mid-1850s Anoka had a school, a store and a flour mill. In 1856, C. C. Andrews called it a "large and handsome village" and noted that pine logs were floated down the Rum River to sawmills there. The city was formally incorporated in 1878. The name Anoka was derived from two Indian words. The native Dakota used A-NO-KA-TAN-HAN, meaning "on both sides", or "from both sides", referring to its location on the banks of the Rum River. The native Ojibwa used ON-O-KAY, meaning "working waters".
Anoka has a strong claim to having provided the first Union Army volunteers during the Civil War, as noted by a small plaque at the corner of West Main Street and Park Street. Alexander Ramsey, Minnesota's governor in 1861, was in Washington, D.C. when Fort Sumter was fired upon. He immediately offered a regiment to the War Department, and telegraphed former governor Willis Gorman and Lieutenant Governor Ignatius L. Donnelly that morning. Gorman, attending a district court session in Anoka, received the note by messenger from St. Paul and called a court recess, asking for volunteers. Aaron Greenwald, who has an "island" named after him on Lake George, and five others stepped forward; Greenwald was the first to sign. He died on July 5, 1863, after sustaining a mortal wound as a member of the 1st Minnesota Regiment in defense against Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Anoka lies at the confluence of the Rum and Mississippi Rivers, approximately 20 miles (30 km) northwest of Minneapolis. According to the United States Census Bureau, it has an area of 7.21 square miles (18.67 km2), of which 6.70 square miles (17.35 km2) is land and 0.51 square miles (1.32 km2) is water. Adjacent communities include Dayton, Ramsey, Andover, Coon Rapids, and Champlin. The USGS tracks the city by the ID 639396 and the coordinates of 45°11′52″N, 093°23′14″W. Coordinates:
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 17,142 people, 7,060 households, and 4,202 families living in the city. The population density was 2,558.5 inhabitants per square mile (987.8/km2). There were 7,493 housing units at an average density of 1,118.4 per square mile (431.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.0% White, 4.7% African American, 1.0% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 1.6% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.2% of the population.
There were 7,060 households, of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.5% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.95.
The median age in the city was 37.6 years. 21.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.7% were from 25 to 44; 26.3% were from 45 to 64; and 13.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.8% male and 50.2% female.
At the 2000 census, there were 18,076 people, 7,262 households and 4,408 families living in the city. The population density was 2,709.0 per square mile (1,046.4/km2). There were 7,398 housing units at an average density of 1,108.7 per square mile (428.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.1% White, 4.6% African American, 0.9% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.02% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.2% of the population.
There were 7,262 households, of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.3% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.03. Age was represented as: 24.6% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.1 males.
The median household income was $42,659 and the median family income was $55,311. Males had a median income of $37,930 versus $27,753 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,367. About 4.7% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
According to Anoka's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, its top employers were:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|2||Anoka-Hennepin School District 11||1,221|
|4||Anoka County Government Center||1,140|
|5||Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center||479|
|7||Anoka Technical College||324|
|9||Mate Precision Tooling||300|
|10||Firestone Building Products||201|
Museums and other points of interest
- Anoka County Historical Society
- Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center
- Anoka County Library
- Goodrich Field
- Peninsula Point Two Rivers Historical Park
- Anoka–Champlin Mississippi River Bridge
- Windego Park Auditorium/Open Air Theater
- Anoka Nature Preserve
- Greenhaven Golf Course
- Anoka Aquatic Center
- Colonial Hall and Masonic Lodge No. 30
- Lyric Arts Theater
In 2000, Anoka elected 22-year-old Bjorn Skogquist as mayor. He was reelected in 2002, 2004 and 2006. Skogquist was the second-youngest mayor ever elected in Minnesota (one year older than John Gibeau, who was elected mayor of Ceylon in 1998). He worked for open government, code reform, protection of historic housing and open space and encouraged young people to become involved in civics. In 2010, Anoka elected Phil Rice mayor. Rice was reelected in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Most Anoka elementary and secondary students attend schools in Anoka-Hennepin School District 11. District 11 secondary schools in Anoka are Anoka High School and Secondary Technical Education Program or S.T.E.P. High School. The Middle School is Anoka Middle School for the Arts, formerly known as Fred Moore Middle School for the Performing Arts. Anoka Middle School for the Arts has two campuses: Fred Moore Campus (formerly Fred Moore Middle School for the Performing Arts), and Washington Campus (formerly Washington Elementary School). The District 11 elementary schools in Anoka are Franklin Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, and Wilson Elementary School. District 11 is the largest school district in the state of Minnesota and includes parts of twelve other municipalities besides Anoka. Some students attend public schools in other school districts chosen by their families under Minnesota's open enrollment statute, or students come from places such as Brooklyn Park under the NWISD Magnet Program.
Anoka has several private schools for all ages, including St. Stephens Catholic School.
- Stub Allison, American college football coach
- Dale Arnold, sportscaster, co-host of the WEEI-FM Dale & Holley (with Keefe) Show and the Boston Bruins pre- and postgame shows on NESN, resided in Anoka
- Michele Bachmann, U.S. Representative from Minnesota's 6th District, was raised in Anoka and graduated from Anoka High School in 1974
- Gretchen Carlson, former Fox News Channel anchor, 1989's Miss America, and celebrity spokesperson for March of Dimes
- Larry Constantine, computer software pioneer and author, was raised in Anoka and graduated from Anoka High School in 1961
- Jake Deitchler, Olympic wrestler, graduated from Anoka High School in 2008
- Herbert Funk Goodrich, a former judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, was born in Anoka
- Anna Arnold Hedgeman, first African American to earn a B.A. from Hamline University and the first African American woman to hold a mayoral cabinet position in the history of New York.
- Garrison Keillor, radio host of A Prairie Home Companion and author, born in Anoka and graduated from Anoka High School
- Steve Nelson, son of Anoka High School head football coach Stan Nelson, linebacker for the New England Patriots in the late 1970s
- Brandon Paulson, U.S. Olympic wrestler, 1996 silver medalist, graduated from Anoka High School in 1992
- Briana Scurry, United States women's national soccer team goalie, graduated from Anoka High School in 1990
- Sean Sherk, former UFC lightweight champion
- Richard K. Sorenson, master sergeant, USMC, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Marshall Islands of the South Pacific in February 1944 Rick Sorenson Park in downtown Anoka is named for him.
- Matt Sorteberg (born 1986), professional ice hockey defenceman
- Robert Stewart Sparks, Los Angeles, California, city council member, 1925–27
- Bill Tuttle, major league baseball player of the 1950s and 1960s
- Dick Wildung, player for the Green Bay Packers
- "Anoka, Minnesota: The Halloween Capital of the World. A Local Legacy". Library of Congress. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
- "Guide to Anoka Minnesota". www.lakesnwoods.com. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved 23 April 2011.[dead link]
- Andrews, C. C. (1857). Minnesota and Dacotah.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- USGS's Geographic Names Information System entry for Anoka, MN, ID#639396, Entry date 11-Jan-1980
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved November 25, 2014.
- "Biz Journals". Biz Journals.
- "General Information (Anoka-Hennepin Public Schools)". Anoka-Hennepin School District. Archived from the original on 30 October 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
- "Open Enrollment". Minnesota Department of Education. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
- "St. Stephen's School Home".
- Paul Levy, Northstar set to roll, but how far?, Star Tribune, December 11, 2007.
- Richard K. Sorenson Archived 2006-12-08 at the Wayback Machine, USMC History Division, web site accessed 20 January 2007
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Anoka.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anoka, Minnesota.|